Sightsavers is an organization and charity based out of the United Kingdom, who help to eliminate preventable blindness and protect their sight. They also fight for disability rights in those cases that cannot be treated leading to permanent blindness. They have been saving people’s vision for over 60 years and have treated over 200 million people. Working with governments around the world, Sightsavers provides education about avoidable blindness and aids people to access clean water to ultimately prevent river blindness. They also help treat conditions like cataracts by a simple surgery and give out medicine to treat trachoma, a reaction from a black fly bite that could cause vision changes or blindness. In many underprivileged parts of the world, Sightsavers protects the rights that may cause a person to be disabled and help with vocational training and advocate them to help with equal employment.
In recent news, the Department of International Developments, Global Disability Summit– which is the world’s first disability summit- confirmed the developing organizations by Sightsavers will deliver 13 million pounds to the UK Aid Connect program in places such as Bangladesh, Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria to aid people who have blindness disabilities find work and/or receive the care they need.
In a six-year development program led by Sightsavers, they are finding ways to aid 100,000 people with disabilities acquire health care services. Another 100,000 children with disabilities go to school, and 45,000 people living with disabilities to increase their income. Dominic Haslam is the Sightsavers Director of Policy and Program Strategy, and he states, “The UK Aid Connect funding will allow us to look at the larger-scale impact. We look forward to seeing people with disabilities being able to use their skills, take up opportunities and be given a chance to play a full part in the social, economic and political development of their communities.”
Over 80 percent of the cases of blindness could be prevented with minimal treatment. Today, over 45 million people in the world are blind, in which the 80 percent of those could have been prevented or cured.